Yesterday, I received a packet from Aunt Bird in the mail. She and my other aunts cleaned out my Grandmother's house this past summer and pulled from the piles of paper the letters and items that might be of interest to me.
There was a letter my Mom wrote to Grandma when I was 1 1/2 years old. She talked about how I already liked to 'read'. She'd read me from one book while I held another and turned the pages. (Hmm...think I might have been wired for independence?) In that same letter, she mentions "Uncle Sonny" and how she knows that if anything happens to my Dad, he'd protect and defend her. Uncle Sonny is a whole 'nother post, but of all the people she mentions, he was the one who was around the most for my growing up years. Aunt Bird warned about Uncle Sonny planning on toughening me for the streets; Sonny thought my Mom and all her farm-bred sisters were too soft and he had plans for me to be ready for the world. He did it, too!
Mom had also written out a account of my birth. Apparently nothing correlated to the Natural Childbirth book she'd read and she wanted to note all of that. I'm still in awe of my Mom. In 1971, when women were usually drugged for birth and encouraged to bottle-feed, she wanted my Dad in the room, wanted natural childbirth, and was determined to breast-feed. I guess she was in so much pain (backache labor) that she opted for drugs toward the end of labor. They gave her Demoral which meant she was really relaxed between contractions, but didn't really stop the pain of the contractions. It also meant that she felt like my birth was a bit of a dream state. Unlike today when they encourage women to breast-feed within two hours, it sounds like she didn't feed me until the next day?
I have a bunch of friends who have told me how hard breast-feeding is. One of them, right now, has a baby that cannot seem to learn to latch correctly. Apparently, neither me nor my Mom had any problems. It's a relief since it gives me hope that if that's ever relevant, that may be true for me as well.
Obviously, there are tons of questions I'd love to be able to ask my Mom, it was fun to get some of them answered 'beyond the grave'. Chatting with my aunts on the phone the other night was another reminder that I have a bunch of great resources for advice.
I love my family!